Ask anyone to name an iconic image of London, England, and they might say Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, or the red phone booth. A relic of the past, these phone booths were a very British sight. Installed at a time when people did not have personal phones (forget mobile phones—we’re talking wired phones at home), public phones such as these were considered an indispensable communication tool.
But in 2018, do public phone booths really make sense? That’s what city planners and development officers want to know. In an age where everyone has a cell phone, precious space on sidewalks is occupied by phone booths that, although they might still contain a phone, they’re often merely used as an advertising platform. But digital displays and ad-filled screens are not an ideal use of phone booths, apparently. And who owns these phone booths anyway? Well, phone companies do. And even if everyone has a cell phone, phone companies continue to install phone booths and ads across the London metro area.
Got a piece of advice for the mayor of London on how to deal with these phone booths? Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.